We champion finding mentors in fields of interest. All of our school-aged children have gained great insight into areas most intriguing to them, from Olympic competition (we conversed with an Olympic runner from the Wilma Rudolph era) to successful entrepreneurs (no better way to learn about business than from someone who owns one). Each unique experience was recorded in our learning logs, sometimes by written word, other times photographically.
Learning alongside a mentor proves one of the highest retention rates.
Hence, we use this means of learning whenever we have the opportunity.
Participating in the Young Eagles Introduction to Aviation class has been one of our favorite learning experiences. Recommended for children ages ten through eighteen, this eight-week class taught by pilots and aviation professionals offered my children opportunities to learn about aviation from people who know it best.
Each class focused on a topic: weather, air traffic control, flight planning, pre-flight check, and aviation careers. Each week professionals planned an applicable experiential activity. My children toured hangers took a field trip to a working air traffic control tower and learned how to navigate a flight map from a commercial airline pilot. The final class included a graduation flight. Participants in the class were divided into groups of three, each group having the opportunity to fly one leg (after safe take-off by the pilot) of a three-leg flight, flying in and out of three airports. After the flight, participants were given a flight log—which they continue to build for their aviation career—signed by the supervising pilot, a certificate of completion, and a code for ground school should the student want to continue their journey to becoming a pilot.